Proposition 8 supporters file brief asking Supreme Court to uphold CA marriage ban

Supporters of California's Proposition 8, the November 2008 citizens' initiative that overturned the freedom to marry in California, filed a brief on Tuesday asking the Supreme Court to revisit the case and make a final ruling in the lawsuit. The group is appealing last February's decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit's that ruled Proposition 8 unconstitutional. Prop. 8 supporters are arguing that there is a need to correct "manifest errors" made by the appellate court and determine "whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman."

In the new brief, says that the court was wrong in determining that there was no legitimate government purpose for Prop. 8 during its review last February and are asking justices to hear their plea. The petition reads:

Our Constitution does not mandate the traditional definition of marriage, but neither does our Constitution condemn it. Rather it leaves the definition of marriage in the hands of the people, to be resolved through the democratic process of each state.

Proposition 8 was originally introduced as challenge to a 4-3 decision made by the California Supreme Court in In re Marriage Cases, in which justices ordered that same-sex couples have the freedom to marry on May 15, 2008. Prior to Prop 8's passage, the Court's decision was a historic moment for loving and committed same-sex couples in California, as community members came together via grassroots efforts paving the path for the freedom to marry.

Proposition 8 sought to deny same-sex couples the freedom to marry with an amendment to the California state Constitution that read "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Shortly after the passage of the proposition, the American Foundation for Equal Rights filed a lawsuit asking the courts to determine the constitutionality of Prop. 8.

During August 2010, the American Foundation for Equal Rights won lawsuits in both trial and appeals courts after a ruling found that Prop. 8 violated both the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the United States Constitution. In February of this year, the Federal District Court reviewed the 2010 decision and upheld the court's ruling that found the limiting of marriages to mixed-sex couples unconstitutional. Though Prop. 8 has been affirmed as unconstitutional, the courts currently bar any future marriages from taking place until further pending appeals, such as yesterday's new brief, are considered and reviewed by the higher court.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights has 30 days to respond to the group's petition for a writ of certiorari before the Supreme Court returns from their summer recess late September.